JamUp Pro is one of the more recent discoveries I’ve made in my quest for iPhone amplifier simulator perfection. I started with their free version (JamUp Lite), loved it and quickly made the jump to the Pro version. There are a few reasons for the quick leap towards the paid version. One, sound quality. Two, the recording interface. Three, the way you can order the amps and effects. Four, the graphical design. For a graphic designer, this is pretty important.
Also, I love that JamUp Pro enabled me to write another Blog entry that has a list!
Let’s go through my list above in reverse order (as I like to do). The graphical interface is awesome. I’d almost say it’s sexy. Before you get to the screenshots though, my usual disclaimer …
This website is developed with all colour removed from it. The screenshots below are black and white, but the app is in full living colour when you buy it. Check out the developer’s website for proof of colour.
One of the things I like about this app is the ability to see the amp and the effects together on one screen. As you can see from the first screenshot below, there is a Noise Gate pedal, the Treadplate Amplifier and a Digital Reverb pedal in the chain. Anything inside the arrow-line is in the chain. The effects sitting above that line are not in the chain.
Clicking on one of the pedals makes it the focus of the app instead of the amp (as was the case in the first screenshot). Any amp or effect that is in focus can have it’s settings adjusted.
Whatever is in focus is highlighted in the chain above the pedal or amp in each screen. It’s all crystal clear and easy to work out. That’s another of the advantages of this app. It’s all so easy. Just like the presets.
JamUp Pro comes with quite a few awesome sounding presets. It’s a simple process of sliding through the presets to find the next set of four to fit onto your screen. Each change shows you the amp and pedals used to create that preset. Luckily, you can also create your own presets. Once created it is easy to edit or delete the preset.
To save over a preset, you simply go back to the Preset page, click and hold the preset in question and choose from the popup that appears over the Preset page.
If you want to change any of the effects or amps in your chain at any stage you can. Click and hold the amp or effect and you’ll see the other amps or effects you have to choose from. There are different pedals to choose from in each category too. There are plenty to choose from.
The next screen as you move through JamUp Pro is the Jam screen. From here you can load one of the songs on your iPhone (or similar iOS device) and play along with it. But you can also alter the songs speed and pitch allowing you to use the app as a very handy practice tool. There is also a loop feature, but I didn’t play with that.
Getting back to my initial list, this app has an awesome recording facility. But before I show you that I want to show you the Metronome. The reason being the recording tool will count you in before you record. This is incredibly cool. but only if you know you’re being counted in at the right speed.
You can keep track with a click track or a drum track. You can choose the number of bars the tracks play for as well (in regards to their accents). It’s very easy to set the tempo by tapping the tempo or using the slider provided. Once selected, it’s time to get into the awesome Sampler screen.
At first glance the Sampler can be daunting. But once you get the hang of it you can seriously lose hours of your day there. I know I did yesterday. And today. Basically, you hit the record button (REC), get counted in for one bar and then recording begins (with or without metronome) and keep on going until you hit STOP. I find it pays to watch the beat indicators at the top of the screen. If you can hit the STOP button before a full bar occurs after you want to stop, you could just create a perfect loop. I’ve managed to do it, so it mustn’t be difficult.
From there it’s easy to playback and listen to your recording, play along with the recording or actually record over the initial recording using the DUB button. You’re then creating layed recordings all from the one screen. You can adjust the volume of the track you’re playing back and the volume of the live guitar you’re currently playing. It’s easy and it’s brilliant.
From this same screen you can save your recordings (using the SAVE button). Your saved recordings can be exported later through iTunes. More on that a little bit later. These same saved recordings can be retrieved using the LOAD button on the Sampler screen to play along with.
From the same screen you can adjust the settings of JamUp Pro. These settings allow you to turn on Ultra Low Latency as well as turning on the option to continue song processing once the app has gone into the background on your iOS device.
If you have exported the recordings you’ll need to know how to get them out of iTunes (as mentioned above). The last screenshot below shows where you’ll find the songs you’ve recorded. Essentially, once your device is plugged into iTunes, you click the Apps tab and scroll to the bottom of that pages. You should see JamUp Pro in your apps list. Select the song/s you’re after and save them to the location of your choosing. Easy!
Returning to my initial list, there’s one item I’m yet to cover. Sound quality. I’m not sure if it’s the export, my settings or my cheap headphones, but the guitars sound a lot better in the JamUp Pro app than they do when exported into iTunes. I have exported a couple of quick tunes I created when testing the app today. One using my custom metal preset and one using a clean sound. You can check them both out thanks to SoundCloud below.
I think my output volume may have been too high. Enjoy (perhaps).
In my testing I did discover that JamUp Pro works with GuitarJack, GuitarConnect Cable and AmpKit Link.I did not try to record with each option though. Perhaps that had an impact on my recording output. Or maybe it’s just my preset’s settings. Whatever the case, I can say with honesty that this is so far one of my favourite amplifier/FX simulators for the iPhone. Awesome sounds with an awesome interface. Trust me, this one’s a keeper.
EDIT: 18 December 2011
I lowered the volume on my output and ended up with somewhat clearer recordings. Take a listen below.